After more than a year of restrictions Romanians have again been able to visit museums and stadiums
Like the entire Europe, Romania has been gradually making
its way out of the pandemic nightmare. Against a shrinking infection rate and
the immunization of a significant part of the population, people here have
started to re-learn their way back to normality.
In spite of the heavy downpours at times, the past
weekend was unusually animated and quite busy in Bucharest. The 17th
edition of the Museums Night took place all over Romania on Saturday, when
people had the opportunity of visiting roughly 200 museums, 50 of which in the
capital city Bucharest alone.
As a first the city hall was also opened
to the public and its historical premises, built between 1906 and 1910, were being
visited by hundreds of people. Visitors were taken on 30 minute tours, which
included two exhibitions, "Uranus now" about a lovely district demolished by
communist dictator Nicolae Ceausescu and another one devoted to architect Petre
Antonescu, the one who designed several iconic buildings in Bucharest.
Managers of the aforementioned cultural
institutes have described the unexpectedly higher visitor turnout as
'encouraging', and a 'real step back to normality', which people had been
eagerly looking forward to.
On Sunday, Bucharest became the capital of
football fans, as the largest stadium in Romania, known as the National Arena
hosted, for the first time in its history a match counting towards the European
Football Championship, which was supposed to take place last year but was
postponed because of the pandemic. Austria clinched a 3-1 win against North
Macedonia in group C, while in Amsterdam, the Netherlands obtained a 3-2 win
Exuberant but disciplined, the fans of the
two sides met over a pint of beer in Bucharest's famous and picturesque old
town district both before and after the game.
On Thursday, June 17th the same
National Arena will be hosting Ukraine versus North Macedonia while on Monday,
June 21st Ukraine takes on Austria. Bucharest is to also host a
match in the round of 16 on June 28th, involving the participation
of the winner of group F, which has been dubbed the tournament's Group of Death
as world powerhouses Portugal, Germany and France will be vying for two
automatic berths into the knockout rounds.
The Romanian football fans are mere spectators as
their favourites, after a lackluster participation in the qualifiers, didn't
manage to qualify for the prestigious football competition. There is only one
thing to sweeten the pill for Romania's football fans, the qualification of our
Under-23 side for the Tokyo Olympics where our footballers will up against New
Zealand, South Korea and Honduras.
The Olympic Football tournament kicks off
on July 21st. We recall that our young footballers made it for the
semifinals of the European Under-21 Championship hosted by Italy and San Marino
in 2019. This would be their fourth
participation in the Olympics after the editions of 1924 in Paris, 1952 in
Helsinki and 1964 in Tokyo when they ended on the fifth position.